It had been two years since Linda, Doug Parrow, and I last rode a self-supported “loaded bicycle tour” together. These bicycle tours involve loading a touring bicycle with panniers and possibly extra bags and riding a route without auxiliary car support. That tour started in West Glacier, Montana, and led up and over Going to the Sun Road across Glacier National Park, up to Waterton Lakes National Park, and back.
This time we decided to try again a route that we had been turned back on in July 2006 – a loop around Mount Hood starting and ending from Keizer, Oregon. For many years this route had been a staple of the Salem Bicycle Club and had evolved over the years as the club gained experience with alternative routes around the mountain. Doug had led many of these tours and knew the route and its options well. In 2006 we had surrendered to temperatures in triple digits in the Columbia Gorge with the prospect of hotter temperatures ahead on the east side of the Cascades. The temperatures were forecast to be twenty degrees cooler this time.